Liberation war fighters yesterday mourned Cde Mukudzei Mudzi (94)who died on Saturday, describing him as a militant patriot committed to the freedom of the country.
This comes as Masvingo Province has initiated the process to approach the national leadership over his hero status.
He, together with former Zanu PF Politburo member and former Cabinet minister, Cde Rugare Gumbo, were the two surviving members of Dare ReChimurenga, a war council constituted to execute the liberation struggle. Dare ReChimurenga was headed by the late national hero and former chairman of Zanu, Cde Herbert Chitepo, with Cde Mudzi as secretary for Administration.
Contacted for comment, Cde Gumbo said he would issue a statement today.
In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairman, Cde Chris Mutsvangwa, said Cde Mudzi was a great and committed cadre.
To demonstrate his commitment and bravery, said Cde Mutsvangwa, Cde Mudzi was a member of Dare Rechimurenga, a council set up to fight the colonial regime of Ian Smith.
“That was a bold decision. The struggle is not linear, you cannot take it away from him. He was a committed cadre. His record as a militant patriot cannot be faulted,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
He said “petty squabbles” that might have occurred during and after the liberation struggle could not take away the fact that Cde Mudzi was a hero whose contribution to the liberation struggle was immense.
“Those petty squabbles during the struggle were of no consequence because the fire was already burning, the fight had already grown huge. I embrace him as a war veteran and as my leader,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
Gutu Central legislator, Cde Lovemore Matuke, last night said the Zanu PF Masvingo provincial executive was in the process of engaging the family of Cde Mudzi.
“One of the challenges we have had is that the death occurred during a weekend, coupled by the fact that we have one of our cadres whom we were burying in Chiredzi.
“We have, however, asked the Masvingo provincial executive led by Cde Ezra Chadzamira to get hold of the family to get the curriculum vitae of Cde Mudzi so that we make the necessary recommendations of the hero status he should be bestowed with. We hope that by end of day tomorrow (today) we would have completed that process,” said Cde Matuke, who is also a Zanu PF Politburo member.
Another Politburo member from Masvingo Province, Cde Josiah Hungwe, concurred.
“He was a liberation fighter. The provincial executive will be making the necessary recommendations to national leadership,” said Cde Hungwe.
Dare ReChimurenga was the Zanu War Council, which spearheaded the prosecution of the war.
Others members that constituted Dare ReChimurenga included Cde Mukutu Hamadziripi as Treasurer, Cde Gumbo as Publicity and Information Secretary, Cde Noel Mukono as secretary for Defence, and the late Zanu PF Politburo member and former Cabinet minister, Cde Kumbirai Kangai.